Wednesday, 12 December 2012 00:15
CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez' medical team expressed "optimism" on Tuesday as the cancer-stricken Venezuelan president prepared to undergo a fourth round of surgery in Cuba.
Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said doctors had begun pre-surgery protocols and would operate later in the day in Havana, where Chavez had arrived on Monday after revealing that his cancer had returned.
"The medical team has transmitted its optimism about the success of this operation, which is part of the treatment plan that commandante Hugo Chavez is following to recover his health," Villegas said, in a televised statement.
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who visited Chavez on Monday, had earlier said the surgery was already underway, calling it "a very delicate operation."
"He is going through one of the most difficult moments of his life, this dear friend, colleague and Latin American leader, commandante Chavez," Correa said in the border town of Tulcan, Ecuador.
"Truly, he is a historic president and ...